The cliché that the house is always out to get you have been smashed to pieces decades ago with the casino industry in the United States, and much of the developed world, following strict standards that could easily end up with a property’s license revocation if not followed to the letter.
Most recently, both Star Entertainment and Crown Resorts found themselves the recipients of regulatory wrath for doing just. But what if a patron cheats a casino? This happens a lot, and there are even more unsuccessful attempts to beat the house using dishonest means. This is where the story of an MGM Springfield man in Massachusetts comes with the culprit admitting to having cheated the casino out of $30,000.
Sleight of Hand Worth of the Poker Player’s Name
One patron at the MGM Springfield was determined to beat the house so much that he found a reliable way to cheat the casino, although it didn’t take long for the Eye in the Sky (the moniker given to surveillance systems in casinos to track suspicious behavior on gaming floors) to establish that the culprit, Daniel Ruiz, was cheating.
He pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced by Judge Edward McDonough who ordered a two-year probation period and paid back the money Ruiz “won” from the casino. The scam was described in the court hearing. Basically, Ruiz would ask a dealer to break a high-value chip down for him and would use a sleight of hand to add to (winning) bets in the game or do what is known as capping.
It didn’t take long before the casino caught up with the 41-year-old who did not fight the accusation and admitted guild, hence the leniency. The Hampden Superior Court did not specify whether the MGM Springfield has barred Ruiz from entry, but this is common practice with anyone caught cheating in commercial casinos across the United States.
Can Players Cheat Casinos (and Get Away with It)?
Surprisingly, there are many cases of players allegedly cheating casinos whereas casinos have a reputation to maintain and to put it simply, they already make enough money to not risk it on something as petty as sleight of hand.
However, some players have been known to try. One high-profile case involves Phil Ivey, a renowned poker player who together with his “partner in crime” Cheung Yin Sun allegedly “cheated” the Borgata casino out of $9.6 million in 2012.
The Borgata followed up and filed a lawsuit in 2014, alleging that the pair had used “edge sorting” to gain an unfair advantage. A verdict was reached in 2016 when a federal judge said that the pair would need to repay $10 million to Borgata. All parties reportedly settled in 2020.
Cheating in present-day casinos is not the stuff of a Hollywood flick, but rather a masterful detection of a weakness in a casino’s offering. In the case of Ivey and Sun, the pair were told that they had breached their “contract” with the Borgata. Most cases of cheating casinos will be followed with restitutions even if successful.